I watched Governor Jerry Brown on “This Week” this morning. He said some sensible things about water in California. One of the questions he answered referred to water to farmers. It was the usual comparison saying that agriculture uses too much water in comparison to it contribution to GDP. This misses a fundamental point about water. Actually, several fundamental points but let me address one.
Water is essentially a raw material for agriculture in a way it is not for other industries. Making a comparison in use is like complaining that the local McDonald’s uses beef than the gas station next door and then demanding both cut their beef consumption.
None of this is meant to imply that agriculture should waste less water. Since so much is being used in general, even small % of savings will make a big difference. But as governor Brown pointed out, irrigating a farm field is not the same as watering your lawn.
I read a really good book on water called “The Big Thirst.” I have reference it below. It is good for us laymen to understand the issue better. http://www.thebigthirst.com/the-book/